Why Businesses Should Invest In Soft Skills Training
- Author Alexander Belsey
- Published September 18, 2022
- Word count 827
Historically, many businesses have been focused on hard skills and technical expertise.
Although these are certainly necessary, having an excessive focus on hard skills (like coding, engineering, or persuasive writing, for example) while undervaluing soft skills, can lead to competitiveness and friction in the workplace, and may cause diﬃculties with defusing conflicts between staﬀ and customers.
Focusing solely on hard skills can also fail to acknowledge the strengths of certain members of staﬀ. For example, women have traditionally been under-recognised in sectors that prize hard skills above all else, but are typically more advanced in their use of soft skills, thereby making them an invaluable asset to teams working in public-facing areas such as customer service or social care.
Training your staﬀ in soft skills has a wide range of advantages for businesses and can help to ensure more productive conversations around customer service and quality controls, as well as build healthier, more co-operative teams that can solve problems quicker and more eﬃciently.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are non-technical skills that enable your employees to communicate, problem-solve, and self-manage eﬀectively.
This includes interpersonal, communication, listening, time-management, and empathy skills, among others. These abilities allow your employees to navigate the intricacies of customer relations and team dynamics, all the while managing their own work and emotions.
Soft skills are of particular importance in customer-facing roles, particularly when acting in a service capacity, but are also beneficial to team dynamics in business-facing environments - such as by helping to prevent and manage conflict and find resolutions successfully.
Soft skills are a valuable and transferrable quality that are valuable in a range of roles and responsibilities. As such, they can still be used if your employee applies for another position within your organisation, or receives a promotion.
They also lay the groundwork for building essential management skills and leadership abilities.
Types Of Soft Skills
The term ‘Soft Skills’ covers a wide range of interpersonal and communication skills that are essential for successful interactions with customers and other members of staﬀ.
Some members of staﬀ will naturally be more skilled than others in these areas, while others may require support to build these qualities.
Some of the soft skills used in business settings may include:
• Critical thinking
Learning these skills encourages your employees to work together and effectively collaborate with customers, thereby building a healthy work environment and fostering an atmosphere that is receptive to growth and customer feedback.
The Benefits Of Soft Skills Training
While 'hard skills' have been traditionally valued in the workplace, according to statistics released by Harvard University and the Carnegie Foundation, as much as 85% of job success comes from using soft skills eﬀectively.
Furthermore, in the long run, soft skills are essential for job security, with Microsoft finding that 30-40% of future jobs will depend on the use of social and emotional skills.
In addition, including soft skills training in your routine training programme could have a wide variety of benefits for your business including:
• Eﬀective Communication - Eﬀective communication is essential for many, if not most, business activities.
On a practical level, eﬀective communication can help to reduce the number of mistakes made in the workplace, thereby preventing wasting time and resources, and helping to keep down stress levels within the team.
Eﬀective communication also reduces the likelihood of friction between staﬀ members and customers, maintaining a healthy environment with established professional boundaries and preventing harassment or abuse.
This skill is particularly important for employees in customer service or high-stress roles.
• Problem-Solving Skills - Soft skills training allows your employees to develop their problem-solving skills, both through the training programme itself, and by learning to communicate and negotiate more eﬀectively with other team members.
Your team will learn how to anticipate potential problems with new business operations and find solutions proactively.
• Leadership Skills - Learning leadership skills and ways to work co-operatively under assigned managers enables your team to delegate responsibilities and give and receive feedback more eﬀectively.
This promotes a sense of personal responsibility, which drives employees to be more motivated to get better results from their work and their colleagues.
• Creativity - Soft skills training helps your employees to think more creatively, allowing them to problem-solve more eﬀectively and come up with new and original ideas. This is especially useful in a marketing capacity, where promotional materials need to be memorable and inspiring.
• Teamwork And Eﬃciency - Soft skills enable your team to brainstorm more collaboratively, thereby allowing them to bounce ideas oﬀ each other and draw on one another’s experience and training.
This helps colleagues to share skills within the workplace, and as a result, achieves higher levels of eﬃciency and productivity.
So, if you want to boost your business in ways that your competitors may not have considered, why not consider investing in soft skills training for your team?
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